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January 2011

posted Jan 12, 2011, 11:32 AM by Dave Musgrave   [ updated Jan 12, 2011, 11:32 AM by Dave Musgrave ]

When I moved back from Flagstaff, Arizona I brought back a trophy, my wife.  No she isn’t a “trophy wife,” but with most of my family and friends expecting that my life partner would be something from the canine species, my arrival to Alaska with a real-life, attractive, smart woman, well, put most in disbelief.  (Author’s note: No, this is not a fluff piece to try to win points with my wife, in fact you will soon see that the remainder of the article will probably put me in the dog house, pun intended.)  She had grown up in Arizona and as such did not partake in the same winter time activates as I (I had no idea that a sport called “Frisbee golf” existed). 

When our first Alaskan winter together came my wife was eager to find out what nordic skiing was all about.  Now would be the appropriate time to list a few tips on teaching your Significant Other (SO) how to ski: 

·         Do not go through your old ragged outerwear and dysfunctional ski equipment to outfit your SO - 215s are meant for someone who is 6’ plus, not a 5’8” beginner.  

·         If it is colder than -10 °F, it is probably not the best day to start teaching skiing to your SO. 

·         If your SO is unconfident in descending hills, do not tell her/him to “step in the tracks and tuck it.” 

I may be guilty of a few (all) of the above mentioned items.

My point being, take advantage of the ski club and its activities/groups.    I made the mistake of thinking that by knowing how to ski, I could teach my wife.  It takes some super-human powers to do this.  No matter what or how one gives advice there is something about receiving criticism from ones SO that causes illicit reactions (ski poles hurt).  The better option is to show up to a ski clinic, say “bye” to the SO and go ski 15K while the SO enjoys the clinic.  Then meet back at the car to enjoy a hot refreshment.  One more tip, if the 15km might stretch to 30km, make sure both parties have car keys.  I might be guilty of this one too.


Hatcher Pass Nordic Ski Center

This topic probably deserves a whole page to itself.   By printing time, the Environmental Impact Statement should be approved and the Mat-Su Borough will have a signed Memorandum of Agreement with the Mat-Su Ski club to construct the Hatcher Pass Ski Center ski trails.  This will be the largest undertaking the club has engaged in.

Volunteers that we need include chainsaw operators, laborers, and people with construction management experience.  Beginning in February we plan to start dropping trees.  The reason is due to a tree cutting moratorium from May 1st to July 15th.  If you are interested in helping develop the Valley’s first world-class ski trails contact Ed Strabel, 745-4190.  The website will be updated as this project progresses.


Masters Program

This has been a program we have thought about for awhile.  Daryl Farrens has generously taken the charge and will be leading the group.  Daryl describes Masters as “an age thing, not ability.”  Skiers of all abilities are welcome, where both techniques will be addressed.  The program begins Monday January 3rd and will continue every Monday up until February 28th.  1 - 2pm will be spent on classic technique, 2:15-3:15 will be spent on skate technique.   A $20 Masters fee allows admission to the group.  Contact Daryl if interested, farrens@mtaonline.net, 376-2169.   Get your ski on!


6th Annual Winter Trails Day(s)

                Once again the Winter Trails Day is just around the corner.  For those who are unfamiliar with the event, this is a chance for those new to skiing and snowshoeing to try both sports out for free with equipment supplied by REI.  January 9th Hatcher Pass will be hosting the event (Mile 10.6 and Archangel Rd.) at 10am to 3pm.  January 15th the event will be held at the Palmer Hay flats at 11am to 3pm.  Additional details can be found at matsuski.org .  Tell your friends and family to get off the couch!

With an anticipated 500-plus attendees, we will be in dire need of volunteers to help teach skate and classic techniques.   If interested contact Ed Strabel 745-4190; Karen Hopp 745-4180; or Mark Stigar 746-7350.


Moonlight Ski

This month’s Moonlight Ski will be occurring at Mud Lake in the Butte area on January 15th at 7pm.  The road can be rough and skinny, so it would be adviseable to carpool with a four-wheel-drive vehicle.  Your all-wheel-drive Audi need not apply.  Directions:  off the Old Glenn Highway, take Maud road to the end, head right, travel a quarter-mile and the lake will be on the right.  Don’t miss this ski.


Junior Nordic

While it was still pre-season, Dave Musgrave put on the second annual Candy Cane Cavort.  25 mini-me-s attended and tested their speed and endurance against one another in a relay and a biathlon.  Since no one was too keen on supplying little ones with fire arms, the target shoot was substituted with limbo.  Competition was stiff.

Currently 70 kids are registered with the Junior Nordic program.  With the first day of practice starting January 4th it’s time to get your little ones registered.  Contact Dave Musgrave 982-7553 or check out the Facebook page for details. 

We would like to thank Joe Nolting and Mark Stigar for getting the recently acquired 40 pairs of skis waxed and prepped for the young ones.  Thanks guys, we’ll contact you when klister season arrives.


Grooming Clinic, Waxing Clinic, Skiing Clinics…

                We will be holding multiple clinics in the coming months.  Be sure to check out the website for upcoming events.